Despite its size, Portugal offers a great variety of terrain, with a wide range of sports and leisure activities to match.
Golf and tennis facilities have been well established for many years, and in the south the mild climate means that both sports can be enjoyed all year round. Other activities such as walking, cycling, riding and water sports are also widely enjoyed and easily arranged.
Tennis courts are found almost everywhere in Portugal and certainly alongside most tourist facilities. In the Algarve, most of the courts in tourist complexes are hard-surfaced, although elsewhere many are clay. The larger resorts in the Algarve, Madeira and the Estoril Coast & Sintra region offer tennis coaching holidays.
Portugal’s resorts are also famous for their golf courses, which include some of Europe’s finest. The majority offer coaching for golfers of all abilities and specialist holidays are now easy to arrange. Although most of Portugal's best courses exist in the Algarve and the Estoril Coast, although more are being built in Portugal’s lesser-known regions such as on the west coast and in the north of the country.
Surfing, windsurfing and sailing are extremely popular along Portugal’s 800 kilometres of coastline and around the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores. The best beach for surfing is the world-famous Guincho, just outside Cascais in the Estoril Coast, where international championships are often held. More moderate conditions can be found in the Algarve resorts, where windsurfing boards and small sailing boats can be rented and lessons easily arranged. Also in the Algarve, the modern marinas at Lagos and Vilamoura are important yachting centres.
Canoeing and kayaking are popular pursuits on many of the country’s rivers, especially on the Mondego, the Zêzere and the Cávado. Portugal’s coasts and rivers also provide plenty of opportunities for the fisherman, from deep-sea fishing off the shores of the Algarve, Madeira and the Azores, to angling in the mainland rivers for trout and salmon.
Walkers will find excellent conditions in both the Montesinho Natural Park and the Peneda-Gerês National Park, but some of Portugal’s best walks are on Madeira and the islands of São Miguel and São Jorge in the Azores. In Madeira, visitors can walk alongside the levada irrigation channels, some of which date back to the 15th century. Following the levadas allows access to parts of the island where no roads can penetrate. Other areas are well suited to mountain biking, particularly in the Peneda-Gerês National Park which has many scenic routes. Portugal also enjoys a famous riding tradition as a result of the country’s fine Lusitano horses.
In the Serra da Estrela mountains near Penhas da Saúde, ski tows and lifts serve Portugal’s only organised ski resort. Conditions are best between January and March, but the resort is sometimes closed due to too much or too little snow.
There is a new bike trail going through the entire Algarve.
It starts at the western most point at Cabo Sao Vicente and goes all the way to the spanish border.
The Algarve has a nice combination of flat land and small mountains and is really suitable for a cycling holiday.
If you're looking for a golfer's paradise, then look no further than the Algarve for what is desciribed by many as the ultimate golfing experience.
With it's brilliant, sunny climate and dramatic courses throughout the region, it's easy to see why the Algarve is the most popular golfing destination in Europe. The Algarve is home to many of the world's top courses and has played host to many international tournaments and competitons.
Whether you are a skilled-amateur looking for new challenges, or just a beginner looking for a relaxing break from the stresses of everyday life, the golf courses of the Algarve are the place for you.
Equipment: There are many places in The Algarve were Equipment can Be Hired for a period of anything from a round to your whole stay.
It definitely looks like I'm slowing down - I used to be able to beat the camera timer to get into position for a shot!! Actually, it had been so long since I had used the timer function (or was it the wine?) that I forgot the exact sequence of buttons to push! We were really enjoying ourselves and wanted to capture this first 'beach moment' of our trip on the nearly deserted Praia de Monte Clerigo, only a few kms from Aljezur. A handy rock formation made a nice tripod.
Particularly the west Algarve coast is becoming a Mecca for surfers, with Atlantic rolling waves, the sea here provides great surfing conditions.
Other watersports readily available are scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkelling. There are many watersport schools all around the coastline. Be wary of the current in the sea, they can be very strong in this area.
Meanwhile the Algarve counts to one of the most popular surfing regions in Europe, because the diverse coastal course offers ideal conditions for beginners as well as for advanced people in surfing.
There are a few places around on the coast that you can rent a charter trip up and down the southern coast in a sailboat. The trip is a very nice way to see the Algarve
I stayed two nights here in December 2004. The pools & garden are very nice. There is a indoor pool,...more
The Tivoli hotel in Lagos is a nice 4 star hotel with good facilities such as a couple of...more
Rooms are in need of a makeover - ours was noisey especially in the evening in the form of...more